Ex­trem­ist refugees need to be de­ported

Simcoe Reformer - Times-Reformer - - OPINION -

Cana­di­ans were sad­dened to learn about the cow­ardly ISIS-style ve­hic­u­lar ram­ming that un­folded over the week­end in Ed­mon­ton.

We’re used to see­ing scenes like this in Europe. Ob­vi­ously, they’re just as rep­re­hen­si­ble when they hap­pen across the At­lantic. But it’s still not a sight we’re used to see­ing here.

The scene that un­folded bore eerie re­sem­blances to the 2014 at­tack in Saint-Jean-sur-Riche­lieu that left one Cana­dian Forces mem­ber dead and an­other in­jured.

Thank­fully, no one was killed this past week­end, but one brave po­lice of­fi­cer and sev­eral by­standers were in­jured.

On Monday, po­lice an­nounced Ab­du­lahi Hasan Sharif has been charged with five counts of at­tempted mur­der, four counts of dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing bod­ily harm, dan­ger­ous op­er­a­tion of a mo­tor ve­hi­cle and one weapons-re­lated charge. It’s ex­pected ter­ror­ism charges will be added to this list later.

Cana­di­ans should be re­lieved so few were harmed, par­tic­u­larly as we watch our Amer­i­can friends deal with the hor­rific as­sault that has left dozens dead and hun­dreds in­jured in Las Ve­gas.

We should also be glad the re­sponse on the part of law en­force­ment and the ju­di­ciary has been swift and thor­ough.

But there’s one glar­ing prob­lem that is cause for con­cern.

Sharif had, as Pub­lic Safety Min­is­ter Ralph Goodale put it Sun­day, “some ap­pear­ance on a pol­icy watch list.”

We know Sharif is a So­mali na­tional who was granted refugee sta­tus in Canada.

Two years ago he was in­ves­ti­gated by po­lice on sus­pi­cion of — as the Cana­dian Press re­ported it — “pro­mot­ing ex­trem­ist ide­ol­ogy.”

The RCMP told me­dia that there was no peace bond is­sued and no fur­ther ac­tion taken be­cause he was not deemed to present a se­ri­ous threat to Canada.

We’re not blam­ing the RCMP for not fore­see­ing this in­ci­dent. There are many peo­ple who show signs of ex­trem­ism who do not go on to act on them and there are peo­ple who show no signs of it who do com­mit hor­ri­ble acts.

The real ques­tion is why he wasn’t im­me­di­ately put on track for de­por­ta­tion. If he es­poused an ex­trem­ist ide­ol­ogy, then he stopped be­ing a refugee.

Ab­du­lahi Hasan Sharif is the very type of per­son refugees are flee­ing. He should’ve been sent pack­ing.

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